Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 14 June 2013

Alice in Wonderland

Inspired by the fantastic work of Slinkachu we have come over all Alice in Wonderland this week... and everything has suddenly become really, really small!

Image courtesy of Claymoor's List

A shoemaker's workshop

Traditionally shoemakers would display tiny versions of their work on their carts, outside their workshops and in their shop windows. These miniatures showcased their exceptional skills and attracted in passing trade.

You might think making smaller shoes is easier, but don't be fooled. Yes there are fewer stitches, less material to last and a smaller sole and heel area to finish. But making in miniature presents its own challenges. You can't hold the shoe in your lap, a smaller area means that any marks look enormous and your awls suddenly look gargantuan!

Our lasting post came in handy for the stitching and a sturdy thigh worked fine as a work surface. So these little cuties were lasted with narrow nosed pliers, welted as normal with a light four-core thread and lightweight welt and filled with cork (rather than a leather shank). Next we will be glueing on a quarter inch sole (skived thinner at the edges) and stitching, before building a light heel and finishing with a natural finish.

More pictures of how they work out next week. Until then happy shoemaking!